By Pranav Shahaney

15th Sep, 2022 | 9:43pm

Raphinha reveals behind-the-scenes drama before Leeds United move in 2019

Raphinha has detailed the behind-the-scenes drama before he joined Leeds United in the summer of 2019 from Ligue 1 side Rennes.

He claims that he just had 20-30 minutes to decide to leave France for West Yorkshire in the business end of the transfer window.

Despite the fact that they qualified for the Champions League, he knew that moving to Elland Road would be the right move for his career.

He told UOL, “Think the most striking and important episode was the decision to leave Rennes for Leeds.

“I had between 20 and 30 minutes to decide something that would change my life. Little, huh? I had had a good 19/20 season for Rennes (FRA) and we had qualified the team for the first time in the group stage of the Champions League.

“Unfortunately, I was aware of the interest of other clubs only in the news, in social media, not in someone from Rennes. Nobody came to me and explained the situation, told me what was happening and what could happen. I was left in the dark, and I confess that it made me a little upset.

“Right after the game against Reims, in which I had played a good game and even scored a goal, the president and director called me into a small room, told me what was happening and asked me to make a decision. So. There and then. I couldn’t wait for the next day as the window would close.”

Right call

In hindsight, he made the right decision to move to Leeds, become a cult hero and then move to Barcelona.

It’s too tempting to resist a move away if your club is in the Champions League, but Raphinha knew that even at a newly-promoted club, he would be able to make a mark.

Not only did he shine in his first season at the club – taking them to a top-half finish, he played a key role in the game that kept Leeds in the Premier League.

No Leeds fan is angry with him as they know it was his dream to move to the Camp Nou and he could realise that at Elland Road.

It’s sad that Rennes did not tell them about all the offers that were in for him, but it worked out well for Leeds and Bielsa as they managed to sign the Brazilian.

Many Leeds fans will be hoping that he goes on to have a good World Cup for Brazil later this year and it will be interesting to see if he can guide them to glory.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have reached an agreement to sign a left-back, according to his agent.